Massachusetts Air National Guard member Jack Teixeira was indicted by a federal grand jury in Boston on Thursday for allegedly leaking highly classified materials on social media, according to the Justice Department.
“The unauthorized removal, retention and transmission of classified information jeopardizes our nation’s security,” Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy said in a statement announcing the indictment. “Individuals granted access to classified materials have a fundamental duty to safeguard the information for the safety of the United States, our active service members, its citizens and its allies.”
Mr Teixeira is charged with retention and transmission of national defense information and unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or materials.
The Massachusetts man, 21, could face a sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 if convicted.
Mr Teixeira, who allegedly posted defence documents on a server within the gamer-focused chat app Discord, has pleaded not guilty.
According to prosecutors, the guardsman was warned multiple times by superiors about his “concerning actions” regarding viewing and handling classified information.
“The Defendant even continued to share information with his online associates, defying these admonishments and taking further efforts to conceal his unlawful conduct,” officials wrote in a May filing.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated with new information.
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